Qatar Basketball League Salaries: Qatar Pro Basketball League D1 [Players Survey, 2022]
Qatar basketball league salaries [chart]
Player Salary Ranges
$2,000 - $15,000 USD/per month
Most Commonly Reported Salary
$3,000 - $5,000 USD/mth
Lowest Reported Salary
MAX Salary (Imports)
Sources Referenced [Players, Media, Coaches, Agents]
Source : Josecolorado.com, Professional Basketball Players Survey Data 
Qatar Basketball League Salaries
Overseas basketball players in Qatar’s top professional basketball league generally earn between $3,000 - $5,000 USD/per month with the top players making a MAX salary of $12,000 - $15,000 USD/per month.
Based on our overseas basketball salaries study that looked at 100+ countries worldwide, that would place Qatar in the higher-tier pay grade globally.
However, when looking solely at the Middle East - one of the highest-paying regions in the world - Qatar is not even considered one of its top-paying countries.
Iran, Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates all pay more.
Qatar Basketball league
The Qatar Basketball League D1 is the top professional basketball league in Qatar with established players capable of earning as much as $50,000 - $60,000 USD in the 3-4 month-long season.
But it gets better.
Currently there are:
Nine teams competing in the top division (QBL D1)
Two import spots available
Two domestic cups
Pay attention to that last point:
Multiple cups = multiple opportunities for bonuses.
In Qatar I am told those can be rather lucrative bonuses (in the thousands).
So that would mean the top players can go home with even more than $60K in four months!
Even more remarkable:
I am told from some high-ranking coaches that the highest-paying teams will vary from year to year.
Currently there are 9 teams competing in the QBL D1 as of 2022:
So that means you could be on a multitude of teams and cash out depending on the year.
For reference sake in the past five years, Al Shamal (2), has the most league championships.
But before you get too excited, do understand something:
Qatar - and the Middle East in general - is an established league with many overseas pros wanting to play in the country.
Yes, I know.
Qatar has its reputation (we’ll get there in a sec) - especially in the West.
But money talks.
Qatar is no different.
So if you are a rookie looking to break into overseas basketball then I would recommend you look for a “starter” league elsewhere.
But for established players with a few seasons (years?) under their belt then Qatar is a great option for a few reasons:
Respected league in the Middle East
Can allow players to establish themselves in the market
Shorter seasons can allow players to “league-hop” in the Middle East
Of course don’t forget:
The expectations on imports are enormous in these Middle Eastern countries.
They want big stats.
Every single night.
No if, ands or buts.
If not, rest assured - you will be sent packing quickly.
Just look at the top 10 scorers in the QBL D1 currently.
With the exception of one Qatari (highlighted), the rest are imports (mostly Americans):
Many continents are similar to this though.
Here’s how I view the compatibility amongst the continents:
Latin America - Middle East - Asia
Europe - Oceania - North America
So if you are coming from a European system where you were expected to blend in, then it’s time to switch up that mindset in Qatar.
Dominate in Qatar.
Qatar Basketball Players
According to Marc Spears of ESPN, the most famous basketball player to ever sign in the Qatar Basketball League was 11-year NBA veteran Bismack Biyombo.
At 16-years-old he was signed to a pro club in Qatar’s top pro division.
Although it should be noted Biyombo never suited up for the club.
He was allegedly detained and jailed at the Tanzanian border for improper documentation.
Eventually he landed in Yemen and then Spain.
Executive Producer, Carmelo Anthony, and Vice Sports briefly detail that journey in the documentary below.
But Biyombo’s story highlights a huge trend in Qatari basketball.
To this day, the Qatari Basketball Federation regularly recruits young African players to naturalize and groom within its professional system.
If you check the QBL D1 rosters you will see many African-born players scattered throughout the league.
The end goal being these players will suit up - and strengthen - the Qatari national team.
How is this possible?
To summarize Ch.1: Article 20(a) (Pg.7) of FIBA’s international Player Policy Regulations:
A national team may only have one player on its team who has the right to multiple citizenships and who has acquired its country’s nationality after the age of 16.
In other words:
If African players are able to get naturalized in Qatar at 16-years-old or younger then they can play on the Qatari senior national team without an issue in the future.
If they get their Qatari citizenship after 16-years-old then it is much more difficult.
FIBA only allows one “naturalized” player (passport obtained after 16-years-old) on the senior national team.
That is how Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers - who hold Nigerian and Greek citizenship - are able to play as an unmarked player on Greece’s national team.
Like Biyombo and Qatar, Giannis has another incredible story originating from Africa.
I’d highly recommend reading the book below if you’re interested in that.
But here’s a way Qatar is able to work around that.
They can get multiple high-level African-Qatari’s on their team.
And since the money is great, many Africans will gladly accept the offer.
It’s a shrewd move by the Qatar Basketball Federation (QBF).
But it is legal under FIBA rules.
It’s also becoming increasingly more common for other countries to do it.
Here are a few other examples of famous players getting naturalized and joining the Qatari basketball scene.
notable nba players in qatar [chart]
NBA career length
Qatari Team (Year)
11-year NBA career
QBL D1 (2009)
7-year NBA career
Qatar National Team (2013)
Clinton “Trey” Johnson
3-year NBA career
Qatar NT (2012)
is it safe to play basketball in qatar?
Over the years the general consensus of overseas basketball players has been that Qatar has been an “eye-opening” but safe experience.
Although it should be noted there have been some scary incidents publicly recorded previously with players involved.
One of the most public or well-known scandals came in 2012.
That’s when former NBA G-Leaguer, Marcus Campbell, had a very public dispute with his club, Al Rayyan Doha.
He was supposed to be making $10,000 USD/per month.
But that all went out the window when Campbell was cut for a technicality surrounding a Rayyan’s roster issue.
Campbell wanted what was owed to him for his time spent in Qatar.
His club allegedly wasn’t willing to pay.
The end result was Campbell’s passport was held and he was reportedly held hostage.
The club was said to be pressuring him to sign off on the low-ball settlement offer.
A similar hostage take-over took place in 2012 with overseas head coach, John Coffino.
He detailed his experience on the Chris Pagentine Network regarding his passport being reportedly withheld from a QBL D1 team following a dispute.
Now are these horrifying stories unique to Qatar?
I’ve heard many stories over the years of players being left completely to fend on their own in foreign countries.
Kicked out of their apartments.
Nowhere to go with nothing but your suitcase in hand.
Stranded at the side of the freeway.
Some were in Asia.
Others in Latin America and Europe.
Immorality knows know boundary or nationality.
Does that make you feel any better?
I’m guessing probably not.
But understand something:
Whenever you are playing in a foreign country you are always at risk.
In many ways you are at the complete mercy of another person or organization.
You are putting your trust in them.
Much like how I wrote in the Iraq salaries article, this is something only you can decide.
How much risk is too much?
How much will you be swayed be media reports?
From past testimonials from players, Qatar seems no less dangerous than many other countries.
Many have raved about the location.
They will have their particular customs and they must be respected.
Qatar Basketball 3x3
Outside of the Qatar Basketball League D1, Qatari basketball players also enjoy FIBA 3x3 in the country.
In fact, Qatar ranks No.23 in the world and No.3 in Asia (men & women combined for both) .
Compare that to Qatar’s ranking in FIBA’s traditional 5 v. 5 scenario:
That presents an interesting scenario - one that is actually quite similar to the one I detailed in Mongolia.
The growth of basketball in any way should - hypothetically - be a very good thing in any country.
That is still the case here.
But with Qatar being so much better at FIBA 3x3 than the traditional 5x5, money could be split.
It could even be more focused on the 3x3 version.
That’s what Mongolia did.
And because of that they went to they competed in their first Olympic Games in a team sport ever in 2020.
There’s more though:
FIBA explicitly said they made their 3x3 ranking system in a way to get smaller nations into larger events.
Essentially then I see it going two ways:
The QBF continues to split finances between 3x3 and the QBL D1, continuing the overall growth of the game
The QBF leans towards focusing on 3x3 to get immediate results now
Neither is right or wrong.
It is just a different way of splitting up the money.
According to what version of basketball you prefer, this could impact you n the end.
So there you have it.
The Qatar Basketball League D1 and Qatar Basketball League salaries.
The QBL D1 remains one of the Middle East’s most well-known pro leagues.
With high salaries, short seasons and great accommodations, many overseas basketball players aim for the Qatari Basketball League.
Just understand expectations will be high and it may take you a few years to move up to that level.
Do that and you’ll be amongst some one of the higher-earning overseas basketball salaries in the world.
Have you ever played in the Qatar Basketball League D1?
Comment below on your experience!